Landscape Design in Waban

Fall has finally arrived here in Massachusetts, and it's a great time for outdoor and landscape photography. Nothing beats the golden light and changing leaf colors that September and October bring to New England.

I was very excited to photograph this gorgeous house in Waban for the talented Inge Daniels of Inge Daniels Design & Landscape Architecture.

Boston Landscape Photography.jpg
Boston Landscape Photography.jpg
Boston Landscape Photography.jpg

What really makes this patio dining area stand out is the illuminated bench seating, and the fireplace with views into the adjoining neighbor's tree canopy.

Boston Landscape Photography.jpg
Waban_017.jpg
Boston Landscape Photography.jpg
Boston Landscape Photography.jpg

IDDLA utilized fieldstone and bluestone with tropical hardwood to create a warm and inviting environment on this terrace. The internal light source of this comfortable bench creates a beautiful ambience on cozy summer and fall evenings.

7 Question with...Inge Daniels

In my quest to learn more about the field I chose to photograph and the people behind it, I have decided to find out more about the architects and designers behind the projects I capture. Understanding their thought process behind each design and what made them choose this particular type of work not only lets me get to know my clients better, it also helps me see each project from their perspective. So here goes our first "7 Questions With..." Interview with Inge Daniels of Inge Daniels Design LLC. Please also visit her Houzz profile HERE. Inge creates amazing landscaping design. If you're looking for someone to make your garden and house look absolutely stunning, be sure to contact her!

What inspired you to become a landscape architect?

I was an artist focused on landscape painting coming out of college and my path since then has wound around, but I kept returning to landscape. I finally bit the bullet and applied to the GSD for a masters 

degree in landscape architecture and haven’t looked back since. I just love landscape - its shifting, seasonal, ephemeral quality; the way the right design can draw out the identity of a place; and the effect it has on our perception as we move through it, i.e. squeezing between contained space, i.e. squeezing between contained space that then opens into a clearing, the sounds of grasses or leaves whispering and the tenor of paving beneath your feet. I feel lucky to work with the palette of stone, wood and plants to improve our world - to build sustainable landscapes and help people connect with the natural world.

What is your favorite part about your job?

Being in the middle of schematic design for a project is probably my favorite part. That’s when ideas are nascent and the project can go in any number of different directions. It’s painful sometimes until a design really starts to coalesce but there’s a certain point where it finds its voice and takes on a life of its own. That moment is awesome. The balance of my work involves taking that vision, developing it and turning it into a reality. Seeing the landscape realized, especially a few years down the road when it really starts to mature, is incredibly rewarding.

What would you consider the biggest challenge/s?

Balancing work flow in a small office. It’s impossible to predict work flows and it’s hard to turn down exciting jobs so I often take on too much work. I haven't hired on help yet so it’s often late nights, burning the candle from both ends. These are the things I’m working on improving!

Do you have an upcoming project that you are excited about?

Yes, an entry landscape at a private Quaker school in upstate NY. I’ve done several projects at this school but this one will make the boldest statement so far about this great campus and its forward-thinking drive toward sustainability. ie. The campus currently has an iconic allée leading into the heart of the campus that is in decline. One of the things I’ve been researching for this project is what a sustainable allée could be like. An allée is typically composed of a single tree species, but with our climate changing we are seeing more pests and therefore less predictability in how tree species thrive. To have a single species is asking for trouble. If they fail either they all succumb or you have gaps in your continuous lines of trees. It’s a fascinating problem. We are building Phase 1 of the entry landscape this fall. Later phases will include the allée as well as a wetland renovation and outdoor classroom. 

Do you have a certain approach from start to finish for each project?

Different types of project require different scope. For some clients I just do hourly consultations to brainstorm ideas or provide suggestions. For some clients I just design and oversee the build on one discrete area of a landscape. However for most clients I start by developing a master plan that considers the entire site - its aspect, wind, soil and existing landscape features - and meets the programmatic requirements of the client. Once we’re all agreed on that conceptual plan I progress to developing the design with specific materials, plants and details and develop the appropriate drawings to get the project bid and built. I work closely with the landscape contractor, especially with layout of paths and plantings, to ensure the high quality of the finished result. 

Is there a specific project you are most proud of?

It’s hard to pick just one - it’s been an exciting few years since launching my own LA studio - but I can’t wait to see a residential project I recently designed and built in Newton fully complete next spring - we are a few perennials and carpentry projects shy of completion. It’s a corner lot and as part of the master plan I helped them locate a detached garage and completely reconfigure the back entry sequence and family terrace. The terrace itself is really neat with a built-in wood fireplace that looks out into the canopy of an adjacent property and seatwalls that wrap around. Some steps and one section of seatwall I designed in wood to have a warmer touch. I designed the seatwall to be lit from within so it emanates light through the wood slats. My client is hands-on and constructed it himself. I’m fascinated by landscapes at night.

What would you do if you had pursued a different career?

As with all jobs there are moments of tedium and frustration, but this is honestly my dream career. It draws upon so many different disciplines: ecology, botany, hydrology, soils, climate, perception, aesthetics, psychology, sociology, urbanism, architecture, art and design… to name a few. I consider myself a lifelong student so hopefully there's no end to my learning curve.

Landscape Design in Wellesley

Whenever I get a request to photograph in Wellesley - or Newton, where I used to live - I get very excited!

On Sundays, one of our traditions would be to get coffee at our favorite coffee shop and then walk or drive around the neighborhood, admiring all the gorgeous houses and mansions. We would get a kick out of imagining how we would decorate the place if it was ours and recognizing the same architects' work in different areas.

 New England Home and Landscape Design

New England Home and Landscape Design

So when I recently got a call again to photograph a beautiful landscape design in Wellesley Hills, I could barely contain my inner Martha Stewart and got there a little early just so I could admire all the houses in the area.

 
 New England Home and Landscape Design

New England Home and Landscape Design

 

If you happen to read this and have a house that you think is magazine-worthy and needs to be photographed, you have come to the right place! I will be there with bells on and bring coffee, so we can marvel together at the beauty that is your home (or home that you designed). It also happens to be my favorite month of the year, the perfect time for some pumpkin spice latte and looking at pretty leaves...

 
 New England Home and Landscape Design

New England Home and Landscape Design

 

Reinventing Boston: A City Engineered

In my quest to learn more about my favorite city and the history of its architecture, I recently signed up for a walking tour of Boston, which was hosted by the Boston Society of Architects and sponsored by Boston by Foot

Alice was our tour guide, and we started out in Scollay Square at the newly built Government Center T stop where the group learned all about what went into this great project.

I was surprised to find out that Scollay Square was originally supposed to look like the big market plaza in Siena, Italy. While the bricks were a good start, the surrounding office buildings reminded me more of East Germany in the 90s. ;-)

Afterwards we worked our way through Quincy Market, the North End, the Rose Kennedy Greenway and ended at Longwharf, just in time to witness the most beautiful pink sunset from the Harborwalk.

It was amazing to learn how Boston has reinvented itself over and over again throughout the last decades, to adjust to an ever growing population and change in business and industry demands. 

 
 Architecture Tour Through Boston
 

Since I am a big fan of small and weird details, one of my favorite things I learned during this tour was that some of the electric lamps in the North End (and throughout Boston) have been changed back to the original gas lamps.  And when you look closely, you can see that they still say E.L. for "Edison Lighting" on the side. 

 
 Architecture Tour Through Boston
 

It's easy to take things around you for granted when you commute every day or you are in a rush. So next time you're on your way to work or just out for a stroll, look up and around you.

Boston has so many layers and hidden treasures and there is always something new to discover.

 
 Architecture Tour Through Boston